First, My view of the state of the race. There are Tier1 toss-ups (true toss-ups) and Tier2 toss-ups (leaning and hopeful pick-ups).
Lets start with the Tier 2 states.
- CO (9) - The historical GOP stronghold has recently been trending blue. This is the cornerstone of the Dem. Western Strategy in 2008. They held their convention in Denver and have invested heavily in Hispanic turnout.
- MN (10) - A historic DEM stronghold. Hasn't voted GOP since Nixon, but has been trending red recently. Bush narrowly lost MN in both 2000 and 2004. Hotly contested Senate and House races in key GOP districts along with very conservative and/or very liberal candidates in those races give McCain a shot with the higher turnout.
- PA (21) - A battleground state that has typically gone blue. BO is counting on high turnout in the black urban eastern areas around Philly. McCain is hoping that a combination of Murtha's mouth, Barack's coal comments, and the inspiring Barletta campaign will help turn this large state red.
- NH (4) - Always a wild-card. The "Live Free, or Die" state has a history of coming through for McCain when he needs it most. It was the catalyst of his primary comeback. There is a tough fought Senate campaign and McCain hopes that this anti-tax state hears his message on BO's tax policies.
- MO (11) - This historical bellwether state has been trending red lately but will be hotly contested once again. BO will rely on the DEM strongholds of St. Louis and KC for high turnout.
- IN (11) - This historically strong GOP state is a battleground for the first time since 1960. BO is counting on heavy bleed-over from IL into Gary and the Northern border to turn this state red. Southern IN is very conservative. McCain's biggest obstacle is the efficient campaigning of Senator Evan Bayh.
- NC (15) - Another historical GOP stronghold that is in contention this year. Many Northern transplants have turned this state more blue in the past 3-5 years. Companies have concentrated in the Research Triangle with is lower taxes and relocated many New England and Mid-Atlantic employees. Only MN has as many hotly contested races this year. The Senate race between Dole & Hagan will generate massive turnouts. McCain hopes to hold strong in the west and eastern military communities.
- FL (27) - The infamous state of recent lore. FL is a strong GOP state in state politics. In Federal elections the Miami DEMS, Jewish NY transplants, and colleges tend to balance the state. McCain looks to hold the panhandle, northern districts, heavy Cuban vote, and a surprising number of Jewish voters persuaded by Joe Leibs. The central part of the state is where the election will be decided.
- NV (5) - No matter how you pronounce it, Nevada has been a toss-up in the past few elections. BO will hope for strong Hispanic turnout and heavy voter concentration from the Las Vegas area. McCain will hope to hold the rest of the state and capitalize on many of the Western transplants to the Vegas suburbs (fastest growing city in the U.S. the past 5 years) that have made the area more competitive.
- NM (5) - The quiet battleground. This state has had the closest margin of victory on average in the past 3 elections. It will be hotly contested. McCain hopes the White v. Heinrich contest will help. He faces a strong state favorite in Bill Richardson, who has certainly helped BO navigate this complex state.
- OH (20) - This is where the 2 candidates have fought the hardest. This is ground zero of the fist fighting. There are a few House races that may help McCain. But this is the state to watch. McCain hopes to hold the Cincinnati and Columbus strongholds. BO will look for strong turnout in Dayton and Cleveland. Watch the potential legal battles over voter registration fraud. The Secretary of State is DEM and has made some recent decisions that may be contested.
- VA (13) - This traditionally strong GOP state is the #1 target for the DEMs this year. BO has outspend McCain 4 to 1 in some markets. McCain will hope that BO Coal comments and social conservatives in the west will come out. BO is relying on the Eastern D.C. bleed-over voters to help turn this state blue. BO has been aided by some very savvy state DEMs (Kaine & Warner).
So now you know what I'll be watching in the state-by-state calls. A word of caution, ignore the MSM exit poll predictions. They have been skewed in the past and this year will be heavy BO. Mark my words, they will have to retract a called state (FL circa 2000).My predictions:
McCain holds OH, IN, MO, NC, and FL. He picks up NM narrowly and upsets in PA due to high turnout in Western PA. He will be close in MN and NV. BO will easily win CO and VA.
Look for too-close-to-call on the following states late into the night:
PA, OH, VA, NC, and NM.
Look for post-election legal battles in these states if things are really tight:
NM & OH.
State with the tightest margin of victory:
State most likely for the networks to call early have to recall:
I leave you with a joke:
Barack Obama has proposed "Change". His supports are obsessed with the thought of "Change". Well if he gets elected, all we'll have left in our pockets is.... change!
Update: Good to see McCain focusing on the states he needs to deliver my predicted results; "Before the day was over, McCain and his two charter planes had touched down in Florida, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona." Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/03/AR2008110303465.html?hpid=topnews
Hitting Western PA: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_596682.html Sphere: Related Content